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seared scallops with bacon jam

Seared Scallops with Balsamic Bacon Jam

  • Author: Jess Pryles



1416 dry scallops

1 lb bacon, chopped

1 onion, diced

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon honey

23 tablespoons oil

kosher salt

chopped chives for garnish (optional)


  1. Start by making the bacon jam. It can be made up to a week in advance, and warmed slightly before use.
  2. Place the chopped bacon in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until rendered and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pan and set it aside to drain on a paper towel. Discard all but 1-2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the pan.
  3. Add the diced onion to the hot bacon grease, and cook until softened and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Add in the cooked bacon pieces.
  4. Cook and reduce the mixture until the syrup is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place the mixture in a blender or food processor along with the honey, and blend for a jammy consistency. Store in a jar in the fridge if making in advance.
  5. Place a pan over high heat and add the oil. Wait until the pan is VERY hot to add the scallops.
  6. While the pan is heating, pat the scallops dry on both sides with a paper towel, then season lightly on both sides with salt.
  7. Place the scallops into the hot pan, and leave them undisturbed for two minutes. It’s important not to move them to allow the crust to develop. Flip the scallops over and cook a further two minutes on the other side. NOTE: If you are using scallops any smaller than 1″ in diameter, reduce cook time to one minute per side. If you are still not getting the crust you are looking for – your scallops were too wet or your pan was not hot enough.
  8. Remove the scallops from the pan to a serving platter. Top with some of the bacon jam and a pinch of chopped chives, serve immediately.